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by Tom Freeman
29 May 2015
Scottish parliament presiding officer to retire

Scottish parliament presiding officer to retire

The Scottish Parliament's presiding officer and MSP for Mid Fife and Glenrothes Tricia Marwick has announced she will retire before the next Holyrood election next year.

Because of this parliament's five-year term, Marwick is the longest-serving Presiding Officer in the Scottish Parliament's history.

She said it was "the right time" to leave frontline politics and concentrate on her health and family. “When I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013 it made me realise I wasn't invincible. The sad loss this session of 4 MSPs from the 1999 intake has affected me deeply. 


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"My health is good and all my tests show that I remain clear of cancer.  However, my family have had to make many sacrifices over the years and I want to ensure that I can spend more time with them, particularly my two grandchildren."

She said serving as Presiding officer had been "an honour", and hoped being the first woman presiding officer would inspire other women to follow.

“I love being the Presiding Officer and I am proud of the reforms that I have already implemented including the introduction of Topical Questions, the changes to our working week and taking the Parliament out of Edinburgh to towns the length and breadth of Scotland.  More needs to be done but I am pleased to have started the debate around elected conveners and what I believe to be essential committee and wider parliamentary reform," she said.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Marwick had "blazed a trail" for other women to follow.

“She will certainly be missed by all the MSPs and staff within Parliament and I wish her the very best in her retirement.

“I know she’ll be looking forward to spending more time with her family but I have no doubt that she will continue to play a role in public life in Scotland,” she said.

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